Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Last weekend I was in Bombay and was cribbing to my Ma

Me: "Maaaaaaaa ... This damn Pune climate is doing something to my hair. I think I am going bald"

Grabs hold of my head like it's a coconut and peers at it from all angles-"Let me see"

Ma (Pursing her lips):"Yes. It does look like its thinning. How many times have I told you to take care of your skin and your hair? Do you listen to me? No. Always other things to do. Always behave like a boy. Now look - you will also go bald like a boy"

Dhishum, dhishum, and dhishum for the next five minutes- it doesn't matter if one is grown up (?) and married when it comes to mothers. They will continue to treat one like recalcitrant 8 year olds till the end of time.

This is a long-standing argument - I remember having variations of this conversation, well, every since I remember remembering anything. . Ma thinks I am a changeling. She cannot understand how is it that she has produced a child who is so utterly disinterested in dressing up, jewellery, clothes, make up, beauty tips or any other feminine, pretty things.

After five minutes of relegating me to my rightful place (the figurative doghouse) she relents.

Ma: " remember A (my cousin) was here a few months ago? She also had the same problem; she was putting some hair pack that she left behind. Why don't you try that?"

She produces the aforementioned pack from somewhere. Normally, I don't use packs. Partly because I don't know what the heck to do with them and mostly because, well, its just too much effort. But this is different. I have a grave, real (albeit unplanned and less dysfunctional) risk of resembling Britney Spears if timely, corrective action is not taken.

I peer at the pack. It looks like a fine green strange-but-not-bad smelling powder. This should be manageable.

Me: "Won’t it fall off? It’s dry!"

Ma: "You are supposed to mix it in eggs (beaten) or a paste of banana and apply it on your hair and leave it for an hour. To make hair softer, you can also add curd”

!??! I???!!

Eggs or bananas and curd in one's hair? am not putting edible stuff on my hair thank you very much. Will try warm oil massages that should be work- I mean, bananas? Hell, if I go out, there will be birds swooping down to eat off my head.

Forward to Friday and a few hundred hairs lighter. And eggs it is (pretty much a default choice since I can’t come within smelling distance of bananas - as allergic to it as I am to being bald).

The next task is smuggling eggs into the house without the MIL figuring it out (for reasons which are too long to explain, the MIL must NOT be privy to this little fact). If I were in Mumbai, it would have been a simple task - just go to the grocery chap downstairs. Here? In this Kobra stronghold - not so simple. The shops (or at least the ones I know) seem to be largely vegetarian. Have to enlist the help of the bai (not Ugamma but the other female who likes me – so hopefully will keep a discreet silence)

That done, the next challenge is to figure out a time where
a) I am at home and more importantly

b) The hero is AWAY from home. For a significant period of time. Is not likely to traipse in unannounced.

Trust and sharing as the cornerstone of marital health be damned. There is no way in hell I will put egg in my hair with him gawping with fascinated interest (not to mention the inevitable background commentary).

Strike lucky. Hero needs to go to work on Saturday. MIL needs to go somewhere else. So I have a blissfully empty house.

Proceed to make the concoction. The not-bad smelling powder starts smelling well, bad as soon as I mix it with the eggs.

The next question is how to apply it. Voluntarily applying an ice-cold foul smelling mixture to the back of one’s head is not an easy a task as one would think – especially in the absence of any paintbrush. Locate a spoon – the mixture ends up everywhere (ears, eyes and nose) but my head. Try it with a toothbrush – bloody laborious and absolutely ineffective – all I get is a crick in the neck. Try putting my head in the vessel, which has this mixture - head doesn't fit. Eventually end up hanging over the basin with an inverted vessel over my head.

Then it's just a waiting game for an hour until it dries. Call up Ma.

Me: "Ma, do you know whether A washed hair in hot water or cold?"

Ma (Most interested): "Ah you put it? Who put it for you? How does it feel?”

Trust her to go on a complete tangent.

Ma: "Don't wash in cold water, you will get a head cold"

Me: “But, ma if I wash it in hot water, wont the eggs COOK?”

P. S. The result was a bathroom which looked like had just witnessed a battle between Humpty Dumpty and the Great Green Monster. Sigh. As long as my hair doesn’t look like that ….


DiTtY said...

LOL!!!! :) You poor, poor thing! I share (in true cosmic twin ishtyle) the same mistrust of vague hair packs and such! I'll tell you what Addie recommended- try Parachute Therapi.. it is pretty good for stemming hair fall! :)

AmitL said...

Hi,Cyn...great to be back here and see u're in full form,writingwise.:)I had a big smile on my face,reading this post.

****Me: “But, ma if I wash it in hot water, wont the eggs COOK?”

ROFL at that one!

narendra shenoy said...

HaHaHa. Enjoyed! The missus goes through these phases every now and then, where various edible substances of great olfactory presence are applied to the hair in the hope that they will get in through the roots, like it was so much grass. My sons, aged 13 and 10, are totally revolted and a happy time is had by all, the missus chasing them with the mixture in hand, threatening to apply it on their heads, the boys running around in terror, promising to do all kinds of chores and yours truly, who does not have a sense of smell, rolling on the floor with laughter.

rosa not so rose said...

lol!! smuggling eggs, seriously, you should've tried it with curds... they'd've dripped, but at least not cooked like green scrambled eggs!! i landed up with scrambled eggs once, and it wasn't funny!!!!

vEENs said...

heheheh! OMG! this is hilarious...eggs --cook? hehehe!

i remember once I did use eggs on my head-- on sme sinister femme's recommendations who forgot to tell me what to do get smell out of my tresses!

You dnt wanna guess what happened the day I landed in the college with that smell... :D

Cynic in Wonderland said...

ditty - does it work tho? as a marketing type person, i have a grave distrust of these marketer type products.

hey amitl good to see u around - every time i go to ur page tho i get blankness for some reason ( have u quit writing or is it by darn browser?

Cynic in Wonderland said...

narendra - men, bah! if a man says he is balding, bewhiskered and paunched, its ok. however not so for a femme. sigh. hence the recourse to food-on-hair - or strange pastes made of leaves. sighh/

rosa - eggs AS drippy as curds and besides curds only make em look soft - not stick to the scalp like glue ( which eggs apparently do). Pleaseeeeeeeeeeee tell more details about scrambled eggs on head? (and also tips on how to get em i out. I am sure i will end up with edible eggs in my hair one day. I am sure i tell u)

Cynic in Wonderland said...

veens spill all i say. but yeah inspite of using the most scented shampoo i could find, i still have this feeling that the smell follows me around the whole day

Drenched said...

Hahahahaha!! It makes me want to take good care of my hair now and not roll eyes when Ma is bantering like all other moms.
But seriously, eggs? *snorts* You know what it reminds me of? Some early 90's Hindi movie scene- the police inspector applies eggs on his head intead of a yellow shampoo and his wife cooks a shampoo omelette instead.
So, what's next on that scalp? Rotten tomato puree? Ginger garlic paste? Chicken gravy? (I'm assuming you can smuggle this inside the house too)

PS: How's the hair doing? Any luck? Does it still stink?

shub said...

hehehe! will the eggs cook, indeed!!
Like I was telling a friend earlier today, it's all gonna fall off one day anyway, so I aint gonna accelerate the process by worrying too much about it!:D

Nice to have you posting more regularly :)

P said...

ha ha ha..I can't stop laughing. I guess you had to do major cleaning up afterwards to keep the secret a secret. A beauty-conscious friend in college once tried some egg therapy. I am not sure how many people noticed her shiny hair but everyone who came within a hand's distance that day, definitely noticed the smell of raw eggs :)

Cynic in Wonderland said...

Drenched - which KIND of movies are you watching, child? shampoo omlettes it seems. Any of the suggestions are proven to be efficaious against balding then perhaps sighh..scoff now whn you are young and tressful. sighhh

shub - the point is its ok for it to fall off when you are 85 perhaps. i am old but not quite THAT old.

P - hmm yes, eggs tend to be a mite, aromatic unfortunately.

Australopithecus said...

hahaha...very nice...I'm almost bald.
bald is beatiful...
btw some one told me tht beer was good for ones hair...well..i did buy a few bottles..but they went to my head in other ways :P

Cynic in Wonderland said...

after reading ur comment i almost changed my title to the "The Bald and the Beautiful" austro..

Wonder how a concotion of egg and beer would be hmmmmmmm

Drenched said...

Me? Oh, I watch all kinds of movies - high funda European types, gory bloody ones, mushy romantic comedies, gangsta real thingies, serious dimag waali types but my favourite are those masala maar ke hero-heroine-10000 villains, including ladki ka baap-with-150000 songs types...and with songs like, "Hooooo chhora chhori, chane ke khet mein! Hui chori chane ke khet mein!!!"


Anonymous said...

If your mom is too worried about how she produced a girl uninterested in much decorative stuff, perhaps you should introduce me to her :-)

In my case, my mother died fairly early in my life and I could, if I were that way inclined, blame her. She was a hellishly stylish woman too! But a foil of this argument suggests that mothers have little to do with whether girls will turn out interested in all this jhanjhat-jhamela or not.

PS: Helpfully I will sign anonymously ;-)

Cynic in Wonderland said...

unfortunately, i have some decorative variety cousins. so i suffer in comparison. sigh

why are you anon, anon?

Pinku said...


did that stuff really work?

and by the way...whats wrong with being bald and stylish?? think Protima bedi...u just need the attitude girl..

(thats my excuse for leting the hair fall happen without taking preventive action)